During Medieval times, local lords strove to maintain and monopolize the reserves and the taking of big game in forest reserves, and small game in warrens. They were most successful in England after the Norman Conquest, and in Gascony from the 12th century. These were large sanctuaries of woodland — the royal forest—where populations of game animals were kept and watched over by gamekeepers. The peasantry could not hunt in these gameparks, poaching being subject to severe punishment: the injustice of such "emparked" preserves was a common cause of complaint in vernacular literature. The lower classes mostly had to content themselves with snaring birds and smaller game outside of forest reserves and gameparks.
Hunting The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York Woman using Crossbow
Women hunting rabbits with a ferret in the Queen Mary Psalter 1316-1321 British Library MS Royal 2. B. VII
Taymouth Hours, 1325-40, English.
Women hunting with dogs, unknown date, possibly early 15C
Évrard de Conty, France, Cognac, 1496-1498. Illustrated by Robinet Testard, Paris, BNF, Département des Manuscrits, Français 143, fol. 116
Hunt with Hawks from the Hours of Duke de Berry
Lady Hunting with Hawks
1477 Mary of Burgundy hunting with a hawk
By the 16th century, areas of land reserved for breeding and hunting of game were of three kinds, according to their degree of enclosure and being subject to Forest Laws: Forests, large unenclosed areas of wilderness; Chases, which normally belonged to nobles, rather than the crown; and Game Parks, which were enclosed, and not subject to Forest Laws.
1500s Deer Hunt
1653 Sébastien Bourdon (French artist, 1616-1671) Christina of Sweden on Horseback
1690s Maria-Anna of Neuburg, Queen of Spain by Robert Gabriel Gence
1695 Anna Maria Louisa de Medici by Jan Frans van Douven